News

What Would African Unity Look Like?


Okayafrica contributor Saratu is fed up with a homogenous idea of Africa, but she, like many of us, still wonders what a united Africa would look like. Here are her thoughts:

Even though an"African identity" doesn't exist, we still often speak of one. I’m Nigerian, and even though I very nearly shed a tear when Ghana lost to Uruguay in the last World Cup, I’m very much a Nigerian, not an African. Many of us are up in arms when people decide to box the entire continent in as though it were one country, where the distance between the states can be measured in vine swings. That said, let’s entertain this for a second: what would African Unity look like? I’ve put together a list. Feel free to add to it (or subtract from it) in the comments.

  • More intra-Africa trade.
  • Travelling across the continent, not just your regional block, would be easier than traveling to Europe.
  • … and along the same line, getting a South African visa wouldn’t be hell for a Nigerian (or let’s face it, any other non-American black person).
  • You can currently jam to AKA and Khuli Chana on MTVBase from wherever you are on the continent, but in a United Africa you could buy their records in stores and on the Nigerian-made music player/store Spinlet.
  • I could satisfy my doro wat craving in Lagos.
  • I could take Capoeira lessons. (Why is it easier to get capoeira lessons in Brazil than in Nigeria? Didn’t that mess come from Angola?)
  • The Caine Prize for African Literature wouldn’t be allergic to francophone or lusophone literature from the continent.
  • Universities around the continent would collaborate more on research and exchange programs.
  • Nobody’s national identity or ethnicity would be used as a cudgel against anyone else’s. People with low self-esteem are the worst bullies.
  • We would know ourselves and trust ourselves enough not to seek validation from outside, because that brand of insecurity is never a good thing.
Interview

Sarkodie Is Not Feeling Any Pressure

The elite Ghanaian rapper affirms his king status with this seventh studio album, No Pressure.

Sarkodie is one of the most successful African rappers of all time. With over ten years of industry presence under his belt, there's no question about his prowess or skin in the game. Not only is he a pioneer of African hip-hop, he's also the most decorated African rapper, having received over 100 awards from close to 200 nominations over the span of his career.

What else does Sarkodie have to prove? For someone who has reached and stayed at the pinnacle of hip-hop for more than a decade, he's done it all. But despite that, he's still embracing new growth. One can tell just by listening to his latest album, No Pressure, Sarkodie's seventh studio album, and the follow-up to 2019's Black Love which brought us some of the Ghanaian star's best music so far. King Sark may be as big as it gets, but the scope of his music is still evolving.

Sonically, No Pressure is predominantly hip-hop, with the first ten tracks offering different blends of rap topped off with a handful of afrobeats and, finally, being crowned at the end with a gospel hip-hop cut featuring Ghanaian singer MOG. As far as the features go, Sark is known for collaborating mostly with his African peers but this time around he branches out further to feature a number of guests from around the world. Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs, the crème de la crème of rap in America and the UK respectively all make appearances, as well as Nigeria's Oxlade, South Africa's Cassper Nyovest, and his fellow Ghanaian artists Darkovibes and Kwesi Arthur.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

The 7 Best Nigerian Songs of the Month (July)

Featuring Olamide, Lady Donli, Omah Lay, Adekunle Gold, Falz and more.